Monday, July 11, 2005

The anti-anti-conceptual mentality

Another problem that I have begun to see in some quarters of objectivism revolves around the tactic of diagnosing one's opponents errors as malfunctions of thought. I can see the appeal to invigorating epistemology by adding this technology of how to think right. Unfortunately, I also think that there are grave problems with spending much time on the issue.

I didn't think much on the issue until recently reading Don Watkin's website. In a couple of perhaps unrelated articles, he seems to have started relying on psycho-epistemological arguments to explain what is wrong with both libertarians and people who oppose massive use of force in Iraq. In each case his arguments seem to denigrate into a diagnosis of one's opponents--on a large scale--as having massive thought disorders. Libertarians, you see, hate ideas. And those who oppose the massive use of force, well, they don't like concepts. It is as if everyone who disagrees with objectivism just can't think right! I seriously began to wonder if the man ever woke up in the moarning and thought that maybe just maybe those who disagree with him might make some sense.

Perhaps I am being exagerative. And perhaps there is use for thinking of people as "anti-conceptual" or having a "hatred of ideas". But I also think that the whole business has been infected by the Objectivist mindset of being against the world, and fighting the evil doers everywhere. Scratch that. Stupid evil doers.

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